RTE's Sinead Kennedy 'disappointed' when she heard Roses' reactions after Rose of Tralee 'cull' documentary
Published 06/09/2016 | 07:41
Presenter Sinead Kennedy has defended RTE's controversial Rose of Tralee documentary after contestants claimed they were treated like "animals in a circus".
The Road to the Dome programme featured a 'Rose Cull', where 65 Roses were whittled down to 32.
Several contestants criticised RTE for the way they were treated in the cull.
Down Rose Fainche McCormack said she could "go on for days about the many ways we were manipulated, bullied and mistreated".
She added that the Roses had been "treated like animals in the circus and held in a room against our will".
RTE subsequently released a statement saying they regretted any upset caused.
Kennedy fronted the show and said she was "disappointed" when she heard about the Roses' reaction.
"I wasn't in the room when they were told they hadn't got through," she said.
"But I was disappointed when I heard that they were upset. I had spent a lot of time with the Roses and got on very well with them.
"It was a very positive programme about the Rose of Tralee. I think it showed how much work goes into the festival."
Kennedy said excluding the Rose Cull portion of the programme, the documentary received positive feedback.
"I was happy with it. I have had some great feedback. Hearing you hadn't made it through is always going to be upsetting."
Kennedy was speaking at the final call for nominations for this year's People of the Year Awards.
The awards, which are organised by Rehab and broadcast on RTE One, are a celebration of ordinary people who have done extraordinary things.
Nominations will close on Monday.
"It is my favourite event of the year and such an inspiring night," she said.
To submit a nomination visit www.peopleoftheyearawards